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forces have been bearing down on al qaeda and the taliban in pakistan and afghanistan. osama bin laden has been killed and al qaeda is significantly weakened. in afghanistan british and international forces have driven al qaeda from its bases and while it is too early to tell for certain initial evidence suggests we halted the momentum of the taliban insurgency in its heartland. mr. speaker, we are entering a new phase in which the afghan forces will do more of the fighting and patrolling and our forces training and mentoring. as president obama said last month the mission is changing from, that to support. when we arrived there was no one to hand over to. no proper army or police. in many places across the country the afghan security forces now stand ready to begin the process of taking over security responsibility. success in afghanistan requires a number of critical steps. the first is making sure the afghan security forces are able to secure their own territory. there have been well known problems especially with the afghan police but there has been real progress in the last two ye
taliban stronghold particularly in the south. another major change in the last year is the surge in afghan security forces. there are now 100,000 more afghan security forces than 18 months ago when president obama announced the surge and another 70,000 afghan soldiers and police will be trained and equipped by the end of next summer when all 33,000 u.s. search trips will have withdrawn. in the testimony to congress last week, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff admiral mollen characterized the president's decision as, quote, more aggressive and incurring more risk than mcraven had initially recommended. however, admiral mullen felt, could come only the president and the end can really determine the acceptable level of risk we must take because as he put it, quote, the truth is we would have run other kind of risks by keeping more forces in afghanistan longer. and among the other risks for the risks of perpetuating the greater afghan dependent on the forces and inhibiting the growth and keep the devotee and confidence on the part of the afghan forces. the committee will be interested
, but reconciliation in general, reports of united states meetings with taliban officials? and, also, what pakistan can bring to the table. pakistan has talked frequently about needing to have a seat at the table. what do you bring to the table? the americans have said you need to, you need to, um, either sever your relationship, for example, with the haqqani network or bring them into this, into this process. what can pakistan do in order to make this process work better? >> first of all, we support a reconciliation in afghanistan because we understand that wars, essentially, always end through some kind of reconciliation and talks anyway. so the reconciliation process in afghanistan has to be led by the afghans. it's their country. and to bring to an end the internal conflict in afghanistan that started after the departure of the soviets way back, '89 the soviets went, their clients in kabul continued to hold on until after 1992 there was the famous civil war which then brought the taliban to power. so we do not want in any way to intervene in the internal afghan process. it has to be an afghan-led p
that is capable of withstanding the radical taliban and other elements. one of my questions, madam chair, is going to be questioning the sustainability of the efforts. congress has appropriated over $60 billion for relief and reconstruction in afghanistan. the great majority of which has been channeled through private contractors. we know from experience in bosnia in the 1990's and more recently in iraq that a reduction in troop levels as not mean a drop in contractor activity. in some cases, it is a matter of increase. there has been increase reliance on contractors to fulfill the logistical roles once performed by the military in those instances. eventually, the contractor presence will also decrease as we move support of large-scale off-budget scanned it -- spending to more direct to the afghan government directly. this is why our reconstruction strategy must focus on insuring that afghans can sustain what we have helped build. how many additional schools and health, as we can construct, but also that there are teachers and health care officials to sustain those institutions. whether afghans ha
pakistan's failure to act against militant extremists like the network in the north, the afghan taliban and other militant extremists. we will be interested in hearing general dempsey's thoughts on how to get the pakistan military to go after terrorist groups finding sanctuary in pakistan's tribal regions. al qaeda and the arabian peninsula in yemen and al qaeda elements in somalia continue to take advantage of failing and failed states to train their operatives and to plan attacks against the united states and our interests. it is critical that we don't apply significant pressure to these terrorist organizations, and to work with governments and international organizations in the region to address the long term problems. iran remains probably the greatest risk to world peace and to regional stability. we share the concerns of many nations about iran's continued support of terrorist activities beyond its borders, development of its missile programs, and refusal to cooperate with the international atomic energy commission. while we've seen evidence that the international sanctions has pu
radio address, and she addressed the issue of the impression of the taliban -- the oppression of the taliban on women and girls in afghanistan and she has since then focused on women's and girls issues related to the challenges in afghanistan. so it wasn't something that she intended to focus on when she went to the white house in 2001, but certainly the course of history changed all of that, and she has really immersed herself in finding a way to make a difference in women's and girls lives around the world, and she's taken the opportunity to speak all around the world to issues important to her and to the community. >> noriel rodriguez, i noticed at the nurenl palm desert, california that both ross lynn carter and cokie roberts talked about kind of the sisterhood of first ladies and all the first ladies that showed up and barbra bush will be there in grand rapids today. is there an informal sisterhood of some type among first ladies? >> i think there is. it's really a very small club. there atlanta many people who have the opportunity to serve as first lady, and betty ford
's history for the the taliban as is for any iraqi insurgency grew. so i think they now have an internal sort of safe haven. a lot of our folks, but i like to think sometimes there are areas that have no violence. that doesn't mean al qaeda doesn't control, they control so thoroughly that there is no violence. so i think we need to look at some of the other provinces, there is an absence of violence. it doesn't mean violence is absent, if you will. i think that everything they really need right now to plan, to fund anti-recruit. the internet makes it easy for them to influence which they have done repeatedly. >> so you would say whether it's comparing out of six months ago or even a year ago, you would say that aqap's capacity to launch an attack, a strike on our homeland has been enhanced as opposed to the greatest? >> their capacity to do so has been increased. we, of course, have responded to the various attacks and more preventive measures and in some cases going after them. but with an embassy that is on lockdown, on reduced many, we are not completely blind but we very much are operatin
have made -- afghan communities now free from the terror of the taliban and afghan forces that are taking more responsibility for their security. and he carries with him the memories of americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice to make this progress possible. earlier in the oval office, leroy gave me the extraordinary privilege of showing me the small plaque that is bolted to his prosthetic arm. on it are the names of the fallen rangers from the 75th regiment. they are, quite literally, part of him, just as they will always be part of america. one of those names is of the ranger who did not come back from the raid that day -- specialist christopher gathercole. christopher's brother and sister and grandmother are here with us today. i would ask that they stand briefly so that we can show our gratitude for their family's profound sacrifice. our heroes are all around us. they're the force behind the force -- military spouses like ashley, who during leroy's many deployments, during missed birthdays and holidays, has kept this family army strong. so we're grateful to you,
Search Results 0 to 8 of about 9 (some duplicates have been removed)